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'Upon Learning English' UC Prompt

okhabin 2 / 7  
Nov 28, 2012   #1
Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are?

"I believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say. That is, because she expressed them imperfectly, her thoughts were imperfect." - Amy Tan

This quote was my central idea when I wrote an essay for my English class. In that essay I had complained that my poor English was affecting me in a negative way. I said that one's language skill determined the extent of how he is perceived and that because I could not express myself well, I was deemed as a severely limited being. When I got my essay back with my teacher's feedback that said "let me tell you, this is not a flawed thought," I realized that my thought can go unlimitedly far and language is a mere expression tool. Language is nonetheless very important; even if I had a groundbreaking thought, without English, I cannot show any of that which will be uttermost futile. Her comment encouraged me and I was confident that I was capable of being smart. All I had to do was express better.

I came to America on May 26th, 2008. Surprisingly, out of all the things I worried about, English turned out to be the easiest to deal with, or at least I thought so. I picked it up quickly and within a year people started to ask me if I were born in here. (Those comments made my day) My English was good enough to go through a day and live a basic life and I was content with it. However, as I grew older and got acquainted with more intellectual people, my shortage of English skill started to surface. People simply expected more from me, something more than minimum. When my stage moved from basic to scholastic discussion I just was not ready yet and I saw frustration everywhere: in me and in them.

The only solution was improving my English. I discovered that just being in school was not enough and that I had to actually study English. I memorized vocabulary, studied grammar, read books, watched TV shows for countless hours, and avoided Korean-speaking friends. This process was much slower and frustrating. Being someone who believed himself as an English genius who picked up the language so quickly, getting actually good at it took so much more effort and time that often left me disillusioned. But I paid more attention to my friends, listened to them better, and gave my best effort on my relationship with other people.

After a year, I noticed my social life improving, which I earnestly wanted. I became the section leader of my choir section which required lots of leadership and language skills. Here I am writing this essay in English, applying for the nation's top schools. I have come a long way and I still have a lot more to go. I cannot say I am proud of myself yet, but I hope it will change soon.
Abby5 8 / 19 4  
Dec 6, 2012   #2
Really good essay, very easy to connect with.
bigpapi 3 / 9 1  
Dec 6, 2012   #3
I also agree, your voice really came through in the essay which makes it good for a personal statement.

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